Tuesday, May 30, 2017

New Shortwave station under construction in the United States

drive into Beowawe, Nevada
The April edition of the New Zealand DX Times contains the almost startling information that a new shortwave station is under construction in the United States.  This new station is owned by the International Fellowship of Churches, it is located near the town of Beowawe in the state of Nevada, and it is licensed under the callsign KIMF. 
            Interestingly, a dozen years ago, there was another projected shortwave station with the same callsign, though it was planned for a different location.  We pick up this interesting information in our program today; so, let’s go back to the beginning.
            The authoritative World Radio Handbook for the year 2003 contains a brief entry for a projected new shortwave station, with the callsign KIMF.  This new station would be located near Pinon in the American state of New Mexico, and it would contain one shortwave transmitter at 50 kW with two registered frequencies, 5835 kHz and 11885 kHz.  The original plan showed that the new station would be launched in late 2003 or early 2004. 
            The small town of Pinon with a population of considerably less than 100 people, is located in the south of the state of New Mexico approximately half way between the Arizona (west) and Texas (east) state lines.  The owner and president for this new station was James Planck, and the postal address at that time was in Rancho Cucamonga in suburban Los Angeles in California.
            This brief information about the new KIMF was contained in the World Radio TV Handbook for four consecutive years, running from 2003 to 2006.  Neither of the volumes of the WRTVHB for 2002 (before) nor 2007 (after) made any mention of shortwave station KIMF. 
            Thus, no further information anywhere would seem to indicate that the projected new shortwave station KIMF had quietly come to an end.  However, with the very recent surprising information from New Zealand in April, the story of the American shortwave station KIMF is re-opened.  Subsequent reports on the internet affirm the accuracy of the current information about this new shortwave station.
            Interestingly, during the year 2015, James Planck began a four hour daily program relay with KVOH that was on the air each evening.  Then, last year, he ended his broadcasts over KOH with the intent of establishing his own shortwave station.
            The new location for KIMF is just half a dozen miles due west of another small town, Beowawe in Nevada.  This town, with its hot springs geo-thermal electricity generating plant, has a population of also considerably less than 100 people.
            The generally flat station property is located on the north side of the winding country road, six miles west of Beowawe town.  Photos of the general area show that it is rather hilly with very little natural growth.
            The wooden transmitter building is already constructed and some of the electronic equipment is already installed.  At least one antenna system has already been erected.  The intended coverage for this new shortwave station is said to be Latin America and Asia.
            When this new shortwave station is fully operational, it will contain two shortwave transmitters; a Harris 50 kW and another that is listed as a PTS transmitter at 100 kW.  Plans are in hand for the erection of a total of four diamond shaped three-wire rhombics.  Registered shortwave channels for this station are given as 6065 9300 and 13570 kHz. 
            The International Fellowship of Churches, under the same president James Planck, states on their website that they plan to erect additional medium wave and shortwave stations at strategic locations in order to obtain worldwide coverage.  They already operate a medium wave station in the Central American country of Honduras, station HREZ in the twin city Comayaguela, with 1 kW on 1490 kHz.  The operating organization in Honduras is listed as International Missionary Fellowship, with the initial letters IMF, hence their American call sign KIMF.
            Their website also states that a shortwave station that is co-sited with their medium wave facility in Honduras is already on the air.  Several years ago, that was true and it operated on 3340 and 5010 kHz.  However, more recently their shortwave counterpart fell silent, so it would seem that they are planning to reactivate their shortwave transmitters in Honduras some time soon. 
            Programming for the new American shortwave station will be produced in a studio in Los Angeles with a program feed by satellite to the transmitter facility.  Their current postal address is 9102 Reserve Drive, Corona CA 92883.

            Apparently, their new shortwave station KIMF near Beowawe in Nevada will be activated some time quite soon.  Our question then would be: Who will be the first international radio monitor to hear this new shortwave station on his own radio receiver?
(AWR/Wavescan-NWS 428)